Chicago Police Department Deemed “Lucy Parsons” More Dangerous than a Thousand Rioters

3 Posted by - July 11, 2022 - BLACK WOMEN, LATEST POSTS, SLAVERY

was a radical American labor organizer, anarchist, and a powerful orator. She was born in Texas in 1853 (most likely as a slave) to parents of Native American, American and Mexican ancestry.

The Chicago Police Department described Parsons as being “more dangerous than a thousand rioters.” Lucy Parsons and her husband were effective anarchist organizers who were often involved in the labor movement during the 19th century. They also participated in revolutionary activism on behalf of political prisoners, homeless and women, and people of color. In 1883, Parsons wrote for The Socialist and The Alarm, the journal of the International Working People’s Association.

Parson fought for freedom of speech most of her life, and after traveling to England in 1888 to speak in front of the Socialist League of England, Lucy became even more interested in the issue. In comparing the United States to England, she felt that the United States, despite its constitutional commitment to that freedom, was actually far more repressive of it.

In 1892 she briefly published a periodical, . She was often arrested for giving public speeches or distributing anarchist literature. While she continued championing the anarchist cause, she came into ideological conflict with some of her contemporaries, including Emma Goldman, over her focus on class politics over gender and sexual struggles.

Lucy Parsons died in 1942 in a house fire. The state still viewed Lucy Parsons as such a threat that, after her death, police seized her library of over 1500 books and all of her personal papers. She is remembered as an anarchist, a reformer, and labor activist who inspired others through her words to fight for equality and justice.






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